Cochrane is expected to grow significantly, making an interchange the best option to accommodate travel in this area well into the future.
The intersection at Highway 1A and Highway 22 sees an average of more than 27,000 vehicles a day. These numbers are also expected to increase significantly over the coming years.
Separate from this work, the Town of Cochrane will begin work to widen a section of Highway 1A through the town in late 2020 or early 2021. Learn more about Cochrane’s Traffic Plan.
The Total Project Cost is currently estimated to be between $75 million and $85 million and will include:
- Expanding Highway 1A from two to four lanes (two lanes in each direction) from just west of Highway 22 to 6th Avenue (east of Big Hill Creek).
- Two new bridges on Highway 1A over Big Hill Creek (existing bridge will be removed)
- Replacing the Highway 22 CP Rail overpass over Highway 1A with a new larger overpass structure
- New interchange ramps and roundabouts connecting highways 1A and 22 as part of the interchange.
- Alberta Transportation’s interchange project has been extended eastward on Highway 1A so that it ties into Town of Cochrane’s Highway 1A Improvement project.
- Construction of the complete interchange project is expected to take about 2 years.
See the Cochrane Interchange project plan (PDF, 2.5 MB)
The interchange will be based on a partial cloverleaf design to make best use of the area’s geography, while also accommodating future upgrades. This approach will help ensure the interchange can effectively accommodate:
- population changes in the area
- traffic growth
- transportation corridor use
The partial cloverleaf design will meet growing traffic volumes now and in the future and provide more efficient traffic flows in the Town of Cochrane and the surrounding area, while minimizing the footprint of the interchange and cost of overpass structures.
Several considerations were addressed in determining the configuration of this interchange:
- accommodating proximity of the highways to the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks
- limiting impacts upon adjacent lands (Cochrane Ranche, the Cochrane and District Agricultural Society site, and historical and environmental considerations)
- limiting impacts to Big Hill Creek
- accommodating existing and future major oil and gas pipelines
- accommodating existing and projected future traffic volumes
- minimizing land acquisition, noise and visual impacts to adjacent homes and businesses
An Environmental Evaluation has been completed for the project reviewing existing conditions, potential impacts and mitigation measures for all key Valued Ecosystem Components (ie. soils, vegetation, wildlife, fisheries, noise, historical and cultural resources and First Nations consultation).
All required environmental permits and approvals will be in place before construction starts.
Pedestrian and cycling access
In consultation with the Town of Cochrane, Highway 1A is being designed to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists with multi-use pathways. Current details related to pathways are shown on the interchange plan.
Land and agreements
Land negotiations are underway for any additional areas needed to build the interchange.
A new crossing agreement is being drafted with CP Rail related to the construction, operation and maintenance of the new interchange bridge over the CP tracks.
Coordination is occurring with affected utilities / pipelines (Town of Cochrane, Fortis, Telus, Shaw, Axia, ATCO Gas, Caledonian Midstream, Pembina and TC Energy).
Design is expected to be completed in late 2021.
Construction is anticipated to begin in the Spring 2022, contingent on land, permits, approvals and other required agreements being in place.
This project will support economic development in Alberta by improving access to this area, allowing efficient movement of goods and people, in particular larger truck traffic, through Cochrane to access Highway 1 to the south and the Highway 22 corridor to the north. The new interchange will also:
- expand the capacity of both highways
- enhance safety
- accommodate future growth
For more information on the Cochrane interchange, contact Alberta Transportation’s Southern Region Office:
Southern Region Office
3rd Floor, Administration Building
909 3 Avenue North
Lethbridge, Alberta T1H 0H5
Open in Google Maps for directions
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